A driving licence is an official document which authorises its holder to operate motor vehicles on public roads. In England, Scotland and Wales, the driving licence is issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) whilst in Northern Ireland it is issued by the Driver & Vehicle Agency (DVA).
Driver registration commenced in 1903 with the Motor Car Act. And for much of the twentieth century a driving licence was issued only in paper format. In 1998, the current system of a photocard was introduced to accompany a paper counterpart. Since June 2015, a driving licence has consisted only of a photocard.
The driving licence includes the full name, date of birth, address and signature of the holder, along with a unique driving licence number, the name of the issuing authority, the dates the licence is valid, and which category of vehicle the holder is permitted to drive.
In the UK, driving licences are together with passports, the most widely used ID documents. It is often deemed more practicable to carry a driving licence on your person rather than your passport, and it can be used to confirm your name, address, age and likeness.
A driving licence is notarised by making a colour copy of the front and reverse of the photocard and the notary providing certification that the copy is a true and accurate copy of the original.
Foreign issued driving licence’s may be known as different names, but tend to include the similar information to those issued in the UK. They are notarised in the same way and are often suitable to be used for ID purposes.